project

Intelligent strategic decisions based on informed and reviewed assumptions about the future

Water Sector Intelligence

Expert(s):
Jos Frijns MSc, Andrew Segrave PhD, Henk-Jan van Alphen MSc

  • Start date
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  • collaborating partners

The Water Sector Intelligence model is that of a ‘strategic learning alliance’ which helps organizations to make intelligent strategic decisions based on informed and reviewed assumptions about the future. Strategists, policy advisors, and decision makers from partner organizations are provided with a social learning environment as well as information on trends and a network of knowledgeable peers.

In the field of Futures Research, much emphasis is placed on signalling new trends, whereas the subsequent step of ‘sense-making’ is most challenging and valuable. Sense-making is the process by which people give meaning to the various trends and future perspectives that have been identified.

A Strategic Learning Alliance

DWSI focusses on this sense-making step and on generating, in the minds strategists and policy advisors, rich images of possible futures. DWSI uses ‘deep-dive’ (think-tank) sessions to coproduce future scenarios and discuss the implications and options. KWR Futures Researchers facilitate this process by forming a synthesis of information and knowledge about various related trends surrounding a topical theme, and by designing a learning process in so-called ‘think-tank’ sessions. The Think-Tank sessions facilitate knowledge transfer and co-learning, with a diversity of knowledge and insights from participants from all corners of the water sector. Leading experts from outside the water sector are also invited to the sessions to provide fresh perspectives. Carefully tailored group processes reveal and test participant’s assumptions and facilitate generation and analysis of alternatives to ascertain whether or not adaptation is needed. Participants leave the think-tank sessions with new building blocks for response strategies.

Food for Thought

A team of KWR Futures Researchers continuously examines and reports on trends in the context of the water sector. This ‘horizon-scanning’ work is a fundamental part of the Futures Research at KWR. DWSI members access the results of this research via concise Trend Alerts on the website: www.dwsi.nl. The futures research team also participates in various networks such as the World Future Society and European Foresight Platform and attends conferences to be aware of and understand the most important current developments. The knowledge acquired through this research is used to programme the themes for the think-tank sessions and select the best external experts to fuel the strategists of the water sector with new insights.

Water Sector Intelligence helps organizations in the Dutch water sector to make intelligent strategic decisions based on informed and reviewed assumptions. Participants gain new building blocks for response strategies to create a better prepared future. Besides continuing to refine our role as the futures research platform for the Dutch water sector, DWSI aspires to help create a network of strategic social learning alliances throughout the water sector in Europe.

Do you want “Water Sector Intelligence” for your country, contact one of our experts.